Thursday, September 10, 2009

Physicians on Obamacare; Doctors Rally in Washington

I just returned from a Southern Crescent Tea Party meeting in Peachtree City (Georgia for my non-local readers ;-). What a great bunch of caring, educated, intelligent, strong, patriotic people were gathered in that room! The speaker tonight was a local pediatrician, Dr. John Potts.

I've been wanting to corner another doctor to ask what they're thinking about Obama's plans for health care! My doctor is 100% against it, turns out Dr. Potts isn't a believer either.

My biggest unanswered question had to do with the American Medical Association's endorsement of Obamacare. I was surprised that doctors would back a plan that seemingly will take away not only their revenue, but their ability to do what they think is best for their patients.

Dr. Potts estimated that maybe 5% of doctors were members. He isn't. He had a few guesses as to why the group was supporting the Obama / Pelosi / Reid plan, but nothing definitive. A few others joined in the discussion. The suggested reasons from Dr. Potts and others ranged from liberalism at the top to the political nature of the group.

Dr. Pott's feelings were that the vast majority of doctors were NOT supporting the president's outlined plan. He gave some great suggestions that he felt would work to reform healthcare, which I'll share later in a later blog. If you're paying attention to the issue, you're probably familiar with most, if not all, anyway!

I had intended to write about the Tea Party group tonight, not health care. However, when I sat down at the computer and checked my email prior to starting, I had an email from Georgia Urology (Atlanta) sharing that they had joined the efforts of docs4patientcare and were heading to Washington DC. In their own words:

"Doctors at Georgia Urology united with colleagues at Docs4 Patient Care and traveled to Washington D.C. today to let their voices be heard on the Healthcare Reform debate. The group is committed to preserving the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship, preserving the quality of patient care and supporting affordable access for all while protecting patients’ freedom of choice"

Coincidence or by divine design, I had to go check them out. Then, of course, I had to share with you guys.

Here's a video from their site:

I urge you to go check them out ( and, if you're a physician, join. I noticed an email update sign up, too.

Being the ever-curious person I am, I then went on a search to find out just how relevant the AMA was to doctors. I wanted to know what percentage of doctors were members and why in the world they'd sign on to the Obama / Pelosi health care killer. Here are some articles I found that I thought were worth sharing:

Here's a quote from's article on the AMA (very interesting reading):
By 2000, the AMA claimed only about 30 percent of American doctors as members. The organization had struggled with dwindling membership for decades, and the trend did not seem as if it would reverse easily. (the article doesn't say what current membership is or the percentage, nor does it say they were able to reverse the trend).

How Relevant is the American Medical Association?

Like most doctors yesterday, I was in the busy seeing a full schedule of patients when President Obama addressed members of the American Medical Association at their annual meeting in Chicago. The speech was billed as a crucial confrontation over health reform, and anticipation had been building for quite some time. So I was too busy to learn anything about his remarks and the response until I got home. Then again, I’m not a member of the AMA. I never have been. Neither are very many of my physician friends and colleagues. In fact, the odds are that your doctor isn’t a member of the AMA... click to read more

More on the Washington Rally (how many of you even heard the doctors were doing this???):

Here's a link to the Association of American Physicians:

In this article the author claims the AMA represents 1/4 of all doctors:

Doctors Boo Obama in Chicago
You would have thought it was Wrigley Field not the Hyatt Regency Chicago.
When President Obama told gathered physicians at the American Medical Association's annual meeting in his home town this month, "I'm not advocating caps on malpractice awards which I believe can be unfair to people who've been wrongfully harmed," he was booed like Chicago Cub Milton Bradey. "Yank him," was probably next.

Here's an NPR article (they give the AMA 30%):

What Happened To The AMA's Clout?
The American Medical Association likes to call itself the voice of medicine. But lately it seems to be getting laryngitis.
Long one of the lobbying titans in the halls of Congress, the AMA is now just another voice in the cacophony of medical interest groups. And while it's still the largest physician group, the AMA represents an increasingly smaller percentage of the nation's practicing physicians — about one-third, by most counts.

Enough for the night? I think so! I'm tired and have much to do before my head hits the pillow. I still don't know why the group would endorse Obama's plans, especially given their past history. Sumpin' is goin' on... I've heard anecdotally that they're losing members because of their stance on this issue. Don't know that to be true, but I know I'd be dropping MY membership!

I would like to thank Dr. Potts for standing up and being heard, not just by those in the meeting tonight (well over 60 people!), but he also penned a letter which will be on the Fayette Front Page and a few other places shortly.

I am encouraged when I see and hear all those who are working to turn our country away from the path Obama and many of our politicians are trying to push it along. Keep up the good -- no, the great work.

1 comment:

Grace Caldwell said...

I can't imagine any doctor supporting less pay, more paper work, cannot make a decision without asking the government. Look how medicare already screws the doctors and hospitals. If I was in medical school, I would have to seriously think about another career...If this health care bill passes, I fear for the life of my children and grandchildren